Tuesday, February 19, 2008

Are we to continue in ignorance?

Romans 6:1-2 says: What shall we say then? Are we to continue in sin so that grace may increase? 2May it never be! How shall we who died to sin still live in it?

There are some who are suggesting that ignorance allows people to continue in sin. They suggest that since the grace of God covers the ignorant that perhaps as long as I don't know any better, I can continue to enjoy the grace of God and continue in error.

Now I have said that I believe the naive will not be judged as strictly as teachers. This is true (James 3:1). But the Scriptures rebuke those who remain immature, when they should have grown to maturity. They ought to been teachers by some point (Heb. 5:12-14). Being perpetually a babe is not the will of God. The mature "
because of practice have their senses trained to discern good and evil." This is a possible and desired state for Christians. Christians are to grow in the grace and knowledge of the Lord.

We might well say: What shall we say then? Are we to continue in immaturity and ignorance so that grace may increase? May it never be! How shall we who died to sin still live in ignorance?

Now, frankly, all of this discussion is not so much about ignorance as it is about toleration. The postmodern mindset is one of toleration, and for them there is no such thing as heresy or false doctrine. So if we can excuse willful ignorance by an appeal to God's grace, we can continue in our error. They subtly argue, "If I don't know it's wrong, then it's not wrong. If I don't think it's wrong, then it's not wrong." They think the grace of God gives them a pass from being responsible and having to know anything. If you are postmodern in thinking, you are not sure you can know anything for certain, so any belief is as good as any other. Pluralism gone to seed.

Some of that pluralism is blamed on the personal moving of the Holy Spirit. Oh my! It seems any error today can be blamed on what God or the Holy Spirit has moved one to believe and practice. The Holy Spirit does not move people today to act contrary to the revealed will of God found in the New Testament. The Holy Spirit only speaks what He has heard from the Father (John 16:12-13). The Holy Spirit is not in the "follow culture" business. He reaches out with the same message He gave in the first century, when He gave the apostles "all the truth." To say that He moves men today to adopt self-made religion and worship with innovations is presumptuous.

The only sins in the mind of postmodernism are intolerance, judgmentalism, and exclusivity. It does not occur to the postmodernist that he is guilty of the things he condemns. He is intolerant of intolerance; he is judgmental of judgmentalism; and he is exclusive of people he labels as exclusivist. To believe in one Lord, one faith, one gospel, or one body is arrogant, judgmental, and intolerant to the postmodernist. I plead guilty to the belief is the exclusivity of Jesus' way, for that is what the Lord teaches. His view of me is all that matters.

Jesus Christ wills that disciples be taught to "observe all things that I commanded you." We are not to remain babes, Christian agnostics, or willfully ignorant. This belief that we must have uncertainty about everything is plainly disbelief in Jesus (John 8:31-32). Jesus said unless we believe that he is the Christ, we will die in our sins (8:24). What we believe still matters to Jesus, regardless of what postmodernists think.

Phil



2 comments:

Donald said...

Phil,

Great points! Preach on. I look forward to hearing you at the Affirming the Faith Seminar.

Donnie Bates

Anonymous said...

Awesome article! I enjoy your thoughts. I ordered your book Adrift. You are very insightful and a gracious author. I have visited other preachers blogs and sadly they are overcome with the bitterness of postmodern thought. Thank you for being Christlike in your approach.
Gregg